Welcome Back!


Polo friends,

I hope you had a great winter season drinking hot cocoa and spending time with loved ones.  It’s time to forget the cold and start dreaming of those luxurious days at the San Diego Polo Club, drinking champagne in the sun and enjoying the amazing athletes!  It doesn’t take much does it?  Just scroll through a few photos on Facebook and you’re itching for your next polo fix.  Well, it takes a little bit more than Facebook hype to bring you another wonderful season.

As far as the lease goes, we are under negotiations with the City of San Diego and Director of Real Estate, but things are looking good for the San Diego Polo Club.  Our President, Ron Bonaguidi has put a considerable amount of time and effort into ensuring our Club stays right here in Rancho Santa Fe.  If you see him watching a match at Sunday Polo, please take a moment to shake his hand.

I am excited to work alongside our new General Manager, Bobby Puetz, and seasoned Polo Manager, Graham Bray.  We will also welcome back our polo school staff, and creative magazine team.  Together, we plan to create a fun and competitive playing season, entertaining social calendar, developing polo school with various tournaments, and a big beautiful polo magazine with enjoyable articles, stunning photos and my favorite, new local hot spots!  We have some amazing advertising opportunities, if you’re looking to expand your business.  Vanessa Shapiro, Advertising Sales Director, would be more than happy to tailor a package just for you.  And if you have any interest in bringing out a group to Sunday Polo, feel free to give me a ring!

We are gathering event sponsors, non-profit organizations, media partners, and corporate groups to become a part of our summer polo experience!  You’ll be sure to see events highlighting TERI Inc., Prince Harry’s personal charity Sentebale, and Dress for Success.  Father’s Day will be spent with antique biplanes and our family-friendly atmosphere.  I’m also working on an aviation themed event for all of our members!  The Wild Thyme Company and Best Beverage Catering Company will be wining and dining you all summer long with their tasty treats and VIP service.

All of our local players like Colleen Wilson, Chris Maloney, and Tracee Brunetti, among others, will be returning to the main field with their pros.  I’m crossing my fingers for the talented Jesse Bray to return to San Diego to battle his father, both recently rated a handicap of 4 in 2013.  You’ll be sure to see Diego Cossio, Mariano Fassetta, Gaston VonWernich and many more!

There are a few things I can’t divulge just yet, but I can promise bigger crowds, more fun, and more action!  If you have any suggestions, please shoot me an email:


I can’t wait to catch up with everyone!


A Perfect Pitch Polo presented by Giving Back Magazine

This past Sunday, September 23rd was an important day of polo in determining which teams will advance on to play in next weeks USPA Spreckels Cup Finals.  In addition, the San Diego Polo Club played host to Giving Back Magazine who held a silent auction, the proceeds of which were raised in support of the San Diego Opera and Symphony.  Guests were presented with the opportunity to bid on and win luxury prizes such as two American Airlines round trip coach tickets for travel in 48 contiguous states, two night stay including one round of golf at the Doubletree Golf Resort of San Diego, and two season subscriptions for San Diego Symphony City Lights Winter Concert Series.

The San Diego Symphony presented polo guests with a reverential musical accompaniment to the parade march while the Hoehn Mercedes luxury car led the parade of teams.  Priti Gandhi, of the San Diego Opera, sang a magnificent rendition of the National Anthem.  Also in attendance was Dana Pardee of Tiffany & Co who presented the winning teams with beer mugs and a perpetual trophy for SDPC.

Starting off the day were the teams of Twin Palms/Starmeadow versus Hanalei Bay who took to the field for the ten-goal match that would determine which team would still be in the running for the Spreckels Cup Finals.  Scoring the first goal of the day was Gaston VonWernich quickly followed by a goal by Hanalei Bay’s Patrick Uretz.  By the end of the first chukker, Twin Palms had the lead,  3:2.

In the second chukker, both teams proved they wouldn’t give up their chance at the Spreckels Cup Finals without a fight. While Colton Bancroft and Graham Bray of team Twin Palms started off the chukker with a goal apiece, Santiago Trotz single handedly scored two goals himself.  Both Twin Palms and Hanalei Bay remained neck-in-neck.

Twin Palms utilized excellent defense and took advantage of the third chukker to solidify their lead.  Preventing Hanalei Bay from scoring the entire third chukker, Graham Bray advanced Twin Palm’s lead, 8:5.

The fourth chukker was a gripping one as Marco Bignoli of Hanalei Bay displayed impressive athleticism and horsemanship scoring three consecutive goals followed by an additional goal on behalf of his fellow teammate, Patrick Uretz.  In a single chukker, Hanalei Bay managed to acquire the lead, 9:8.  While Colton Bancroft was able to score a point for Twin Palms at the beginning of the fifth chukker, Hanalei continued their shooting spree acquiring an additional 3 goals.

Going into the sixth and final chukker, Twin Palms was trailing Hanalei by a mere three goals.  With the Spreckels Cup Finals still in their sights, team Twin Palms scored three consecutive points on behalf of Gaston VonWernich and Chris Maloney tying the match at twelve points apiece. The sixth chukker had polo onlookers on the edges of their seats as Santiago Trotz of Hanalei Bay ultimately scored the final goal securing the win and subsequent advancement of his team in the pursuit of the coveted Spreckels Cup.

The second match of the day featured the three-goal teams of West Coast Aero Space versus San Judas.  David Samaniego of team San Judas scored the first goal.  Two additional points were quickly scored on behalf of fellow San Judas teammates, Harrison Samaniego and Jared Sheldon. At the end of the first chukker, San Judas held the lead 3:0.

In the second chukker, West Coast Aero Space rose to the occasion in an excellent display of offense scoring three goals by Kimo Huddleston and Jake Brumby bringing West Coast within one goal of the lead.  Not willing to let West Coast get ahead, San Judas increased their lead wrapping up the third chukker, West Coast: 4, San Judas: 7.

In the fourth and final chukker, Harrison Samaneigo proved himself to be the MVP of San Judas single handedly scoring three consecutive goals to West Coast’s one securing the win: West Coast 5, San Judas 10.

Closing Day is this coming Sunday! Just because the Summer 2012 Polo Season is coming to a close doesn’t mean the fun stops.  This particular polo Sunday will be Gatsby themed so come dressed to impress for a weekend of 1920’s frivolity and luxury.  Also, come out to show support for one of SDPC’s partners, TERI Inc. who will be holding a fundraiser to further promote their mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with both developmental and learning disabilities.  Representatives from Valitar will also be in attendance Sunday. Starting November 16, come to the Del Mar Fairgrounds to witness a spectacular, enthralling performance of mythical proportions including over 45 breeds of horses.

Volunteering at TERI Inc.’s Therapeutic Riding Program

This past Saturday, August 25th, the San Diego Polo Club partnered with TERI Inc. for a day of service.  SDPC has supported TERI Inc. for years and passionately supports their mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with both developmental and learning disabilities.

Volunteers on Saturday were provided with the opportunity to participate in the Therapeutic Equestrian Program offered at TERI Inc.  The therapeutic riding approach has been proven to strengthen and enrich numerous needs of children with autism ranging from motor skills to self-esteem and confidence.  SDPC engaged children in interactive games while on horseback that helped to cultivate courage in terms of balance, coordination, problem solving, and to also emphasize the power of imagination. The beneficial aspects of such a program are innumerable as its effects reverberate throughout multiple facets of the children’s lives including improved focus and performance in school.

SDPC was also given a tour of the TERI Inc. grounds and their amazing facility.  In addition to therapeutic riding, volunteers assisted in bathing and grooming their equine friends.

If you missed this opportunity to help support TERI Inc, mark your calendars! On September 30th, Closing Day of the 2012 summer polo season, SDPC will be hosting a fundraiser to help benefit this non-profit.  Please come out to show your support as TERI Inc. continues to make revolutionary progress in the field of autistic research and therapy.

More photos here.

Willis Allen Cup

This last Sunday, August 19th marked the second half of the 2012 polo season, the sequel to the season’s Opening Day that was held in June.  The Willis Allen Cup is held annually to commemorate the San Diego Polo Club’s “Founding Father,” Willis Allen.  Allen helped to secure the very land that SDPC exists on to this day.

In addition, the San Diego Polo Club hosted special guests Awakenings Charity, Fred’s Playland, and Motu Hawaii.  Awakenings Health Institute is committed to providing a campus setting that offers holistic and traditional therapy to individuals and their families who have suffered from major trauma and lasting paralysis.  Fred’s Playland has been a loyal supporter of SDPC for years.  Sunday was a bittersweet one as friends and colleagues of Fred’s wished him all the best as he moves away from San Diego.

Motu Hawaii is dedicated to bringing the “aloha spirit” of the islands to the states by embodying and emulating the culture, joy, and beauty of the Pacific Islands.  The family of Motu Hawaii was also in attendance on Sunday handing out beautiful, hand-made Hawaiian leis that wafted the sweet, tropical scent of the islands throughout the pavilion.


The intermission exhibition between polo matches featured the family of San Diego Polo Club’s pro player, Kimo Huddleston.  Stephanie, Hi’ilawe, and Ilihia Huddleston accompanied by Kahiau Freitas performed both a captivating and alluring hula demonstration that left fans and players alike speechless.  Guests were also treated with a soothing collection of Hawaiian melodies throughout the day performed by Tini Grey.

The San Diego Polo Club would also like to say a special thanks to world renowned, Australian-born lyric soprano Alice Teyssier who sang the National Anthem.


The first match of the Willis Allen Cup featured the teams of Hanalei Bay versus Twin Palms/Starmeadow.  In chukker one, Krista Bonaguidi of team Hanalei Bay was first to score. At the close of chukker one, team Hanalei Bay led three goals to one.

In the second chukker, team Hanalei Bay scored three consecutive goals-two for Mariano Fassetta and one for Christepher Collins.  Twin Palms/Starmeadow met Hanalei Bay’s three goals with two of their own on behalf of Gaston VonWernich and Chris Maloney.

Twin Palms/Starmeadow took advantage of the third chukker by tying up the score at six points for Hanalei Bay, six points for Twin Palms/Starmeadow.  In the fourth chukker, Twin Palms/Starmeadow pulled ahead into the lead scoring three goals with the help of Gaston VonWernich, Colton Bancroft, and Graham Bray. Christepher Collins of team Hanalei Bay scored a point for his team.

The fifth chukker was action packed as Hanalei Bay fought to stay in the match.  Mariano Fassetta and Christepher Collins scored two consecutive goals for Hanalei Bay while Chris Maloney scored a goal for Twin Palms/Starmeadow.

Heading into the sixth and final chukker, both teams were positioned for the win-Hanalei Bay 9: Twin Palms/Starmeadow 10.  Twin Palms/Starmeadow secured their lead with two goals shared by Colton Bancroft and Graham Bray. Mariano Fassetta of team Hanalei Bay scored the concluding goal of the match with Twin Palms/Starmeadow taking the win, twelve points to Hanalei Bay’s ten.


If the first polo match of the day was a gripping one, the second polo match had onlookers on the edges of their seats.  The teams of Adeptus and Trinity took to the field for the feature match of the Willis Allen Cup demonstrating that both agility and determination can lead to fierce competition.  In the first chukker, Alvaro Tadeo of team Adeptus was first to score.   This first goal helped to spark a shoot out as team Trinity scored four goals and team Adeptus scored three in chukker number one alone.

In chukker two, team Trinity was able to hold on to their one goal lead by scoring one point by Tim Rudy to match team Adeptus’ one goal on behalf of Joseph Stuart.  Similarly, in chukker number three, both teams fought neck-to-neck scoring two goals apiece.

Team Adeptus rose to the occasion assuming the lead in chukker four.  Joseph Stuart single-handedly scored all four goals for team Adeptus while Tim Rudy and Arthur Cameron scored a goal each for team Trinity.  The fifth chukker came to a suspenseful conclusion with both teams tied at eleven points.

In the sixth and final chukker, both teams utilized teamwork to fight up until the very end for the win. While Rick Paicius of team Trinity scored a goal, it was Jesse Bray of team Adeptus that helped bring his team home with two goals.


If you missed the San Diego Polo Club’s second Opening Day, mark your calendars! This Saturday, SDPC is volunteering at TERI Inc.  Volunteers will be given the opportunity to learn about EQUISSAGE and provide therapeutic riding lessons.  In addition, this polo Sunday marks the Willis Allen Memorial Cup Finals and will feature SDPC luxury car sponsor, Land Rover. This Sunday will also include a magnificent dressage performance by Rebecca Ridgon who has received rider medals in Bronze, Silver, and Gold by the United States Dressage Federation.

Second Wind of the 2011 Season!

Jesse and Graham Bray
Jesse Bray of Starmeadow went home on Saturday afternoon after playing a practice game with his teammates, Joy Bancroft, Jessica Bailey and his father, Graham Bray.  He massaged his shoulders and complained to his mother he needed ice packs for his upper back.  When his mother asked why his shoulders were so sore, he responded, “I’ve been carrying the old man all day,” insinutating he played better than his father and led the team to victory.  Graham didn’t take it lightly.

Graham Bray

The following day, Graham Bray played spectacularly on field one in front of the Sunday crowd.  Scoring a total of 9 goals, he showed his son that the “old man” is still the boss.  Jessica Bailey, straight in from Indio, scored 2 goals for Starmeadow, and Jesse Bray scored 3 (only 6 less than his father).  Joy Bancroft played a strong defense, keeping the goals in favor of Starmeadow.

Tritech/Princeps scored their first two goals in the fourth chukker, starting things off slow.  In the 6th chukker, each teammate scored a goal, bringing the total up to 9.  Unfortunately for Tritech/Princeps, Mr. Graham Bray of Starmeadow stole the show and the game.

Diego Cossio

Diego Cossio of Monteverde kicked off the feature match with style, knocking in 2 goals.  Teammates Ellen Greenhill and David Samaniego each scored one, blowing San Fernando/San Judas out of the water in the first chukker.  Diego Cossio admits he had a horrible 2nd chukker, letting Guillermo Li and Charly Cendoya of San Judas/San Fernando score, tying up the match.

Charly CendoyaGuillermo Li

Each team scored another goal in the fourth chukker keeping the tied game, but in the 5th chukker, Matt Walker scored one and Diego Cossio scored two pushing Monteverde into the lead.

Matt Walker

Both Ramon Richard and Charly Cendoya of San Judas/San Fernando scored, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.  Monteverde came out on top 12 to 8.

David Samaniego and Roberto Estudillo

The San Diego Polo Club celebrated the day with TERI Inc, a non-profit working hard to make the lives of special needs children better.  They spoke about their therapeutic riding program and sold artwork done by their students.  Teri also received a check for $10,000 from Canon Business Solutions!


Check out the video below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kDYEAnYofI]